Cattleya Orchid Facts
- Firstly, the Cattleya Orchid names a genus containing 113 gorgeous species of orchids. While this sounds like quite a lot, comparatively, it isn’t. That’s because more than 26,000 species of orchids exist around the world.
- But, the first discovery of this group by non-native individuals only occurred in 1817, in Brazil. Consequently, researchers later took samples to Glasgow for identification and further study.
- Additionally, the Cattleya Orchid actually bears the name of William Cattleya, a British horticulturist of the time. He was the first to successfully grow it outside of its native habitat.
- Finally, following this single shipment for research, outsiders did not see it again for another 70 years. This occurred due to erroneous information pertaining to the location of its discovery.
Cattleya Orchid Physical Description
Most notably, the Cattleya Orchid remains best known for having large, brilliantly colored blooms. The size of the blooms also varies greatly by species. However, these typically range from 2-6 in (5-15 cm) across.
The colors of the various individual species also include almost every color. But, that excludes black and a few shades of blue. Furthermore, the majority of breeds produce flowers with three narrow sepals.
In addition, it also typically produces three broad petals. One of these usually forms the conspicuous lip the plants remain known for. Finally, a single plant sometimes displays anywhere from 1-10 flowers.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Monocots
- Order: Asparagales
- Family: Orchidaceae
- Genus: Cattleya
Cattleya Orchid Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Cattleya Orchid remains a purely tropical group of species. It generally occurs in a range extending from Argentina to Costa Rica, in South America. The various types most commonly grow in areas of bright sunlight, with partial shading.
The color of the leaves also easily varies according to the amount of sunlight they receive. Under optimum conditions of lighting, however, the leaves develop an apple green color.
Finally, this orchid does not bloom without ample sunlight. It prefers soil with a rather high moisture content, but with ample drainage. The plant also reproduces through the production of pseudobulbs. Some species even bloom twice per year.